Definition of coarse in English:



  • 1Rough or harsh in texture.

    ‘a coarse woollen cloth’
    • ‘In his most characteristic works he carved directly in stone, preferring a hard stone with a coarse texture.’
    • ‘It will also be advisable to reclassify coarse cereals as ‘nutritious grains’ in order to underline their desirable nutritive properties.’
    • ‘The material is coarse and rough, the fabric verdant and winter green.’
    • ‘They wore flannel shirts over loose-fitting pants fashioned of droguet, or drugget, a durable and coarse woolen fabric.’
    • ‘Oats can be used for hay; however, as with the winter cereals, oats are coarse, slow to dry, and often produce dusty hay.’
    • ‘The coarse texture and mild flavour of the beans contrasted nicely with the saltiness of the smoked ham and the richness of the sausage.’
    • ‘His voice was coarse and scratchy, filled with malice and hunger.’
    • ‘He was a rather tall boy with a head full of coarse black hair.’
    • ‘We added a sack of sugar, a pouch of coarse black tobacco, and got his grudging acceptance.’
    • ‘Everyone always wants to touch the cloth because it looks so rough and coarse, but I can assure you, there is nothing so comfortable for the climate!’
    • ‘She stared at herself, and then pulled on her own clothes, feeling safer in the thick coarse fabrics, the rough knitted jumper.’
    • ‘He stood six feet tall and was covered in coarse black fur.’
    • ‘In fact it was rather ugly, with coarse brown scales and thick awkward looking fins.’
    • ‘The carpet lining the boot was scratchy - it was black and coarse and smelled of old mud and car.’
    • ‘Her coarse black hair was pulled into two cute pigtails, and she smiled shyly.’
    • ‘Today, refined wheat and rice have virtually displaced coarse grains and millets as the staple cereal.’
    • ‘I sighed, moved to stroke the slightly coarse fur on her shoulder.’
    • ‘I can see the depths of his chestnut eyes, the coarse texture of his jet black hair, and the shape of his slightly muscular figure.’
    • ‘Dulse is a seaweed native to the British Isles that has a reddish-brown color and coarse texture.’
    • ‘Her voice was coarse as if she had been yelling all night.’
    • ‘Objects jumped out in sharp relief: furniture, stairs, the grain of the wood on the cleanly swept floor, the coarse texture of rugs.’
    rough, bristly, scratchy, prickly, hairy, shaggy, wiry
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Consisting of large grains or particles.
      ‘coarse sand’
      • ‘If the surface is slick, such as ceramic tile, sand it with coarse sandpaper.’
      • ‘There are places where the sand is coarse and hard instead of soft, worn by years of the sea and her moods.’
      • ‘For plants that need free drainage I add very coarse sand or fine gravel.’
      • ‘Some sift sand from millet, while others pound the grain into a coarse flour.’
      • ‘The coarse white sand of the sea floor contrasted with the pinkish walls with their splattering of yellow, orange and red anemones.’
      • ‘Blend this all together using the tips of your fingers, until it resembles coarse sand.’
      • ‘Water used for domestic purposes can be easily recycled by passing it through layers of charcoal and coarse sand.’
      • ‘If your soil is poorly drained, it may be necessary to put a little coarse sand at the base of the hole.’
      • ‘Beneath her she could feel the coarse grit of sand and pebbles, and in the air she could smell the ocean.’
      • ‘Work started on the site for the pergola today, with the foundations being levelled and the gaps between the stone being filled with coarse gravel ready to receive sand and slabs.’
      • ‘Just lay it on the ground in the cleared area, and fill it with a coarse grade of sand.’
      • ‘Just whiz some of the bread in a food processor until it becomes a pile of coarse crumbs.’
      • ‘A ragged, yellow-green plant had pushed its way through the coarse, black soil.’
      • ‘Inhalation of coarse, ambient particulate matter may also contribute to the exacerbation of reactive airways disease.’
      • ‘Beneath these lies a floor of coarse granite sand and broken shell.’
      • ‘For container gardening use a fast draining potting soil mixed with a little coarse sand.’
      • ‘Lard in particular has a coarse, crystalline structure which makes a highly effective barrier.’
      • ‘Sprinkle the coarse salt over a sheet pan and arrange the clams on top.’
      • ‘A little coarse salt, some ground pepper, and fire.’
    2. 1.2 (of grains or particles) large.
      ‘under the microscope they are seen to contain coarse grains’
      • ‘The gold distribution in the ore is quite uneven - coarse grains with occasional nuggets are typical.’
      • ‘If the grains are too coarse the metal will exhibit a rough surface finish on machining and an ‘orange peel’ effect after pressing.’
      • ‘The second heating refines the coarse grains and leaves the steel in a softened condition.’
      • ‘At a microscopic scale, at the surface of the deposit, coarse particles roll on a deposit of fine particles as a result of particle segregation.’
      • ‘These observations explained the presence of the coarse suspended particles found in the present study.’
      • ‘These coarse particles indicate that the decorator prepared his paint poorly.’
      • ‘He also needs to know the fineness, because coarse particles don't work.’
      • ‘Grain orientation also plays a large part in determining toughness of alloys containing coarse particles.’
      • ‘Sprinkle with coarse grain sugar; bake until golden brown, about 40 minutes.’
      • ‘In this type of sediment, relatively coarse sand grains are mixed with silt and clay.’
      • ‘Because of the fragmentation of nuclei and the disruption of cellular membranes, coarse granular particles are formed.’
      • ‘Grain size in the intrusion remains coarse right up to the contact with metasedimentary host rocks.’
      • ‘If a drop of the same ink is mixed with a drop of fresh blood, the carbon precipitates at once in the form of rather coarse black particles, assembling in small irregular clusters.’
      • ‘Some biologic links between coarse particles and exacerbation of respiratory problems support these findings.’
      • ‘Breton butter is notable since it's almost always flecked with large, coarse grains of salt that crunch when you bite into them.’
      • ‘This wider mix of particle sizes is important because how much sediment a river carries also depends on the relative mix of coarse and fine grains.’
    3. 1.3 (of a person's features) not elegantly formed or proportioned.
      ‘his coarse, ugly features contorted with rage’
      • ‘From the servants I had heard that she was very coarse looking and rude.’
      • ‘The male figures here, as before, are represented as coarse, even brutal in feature.’
      • ‘His facial features were coarse, his hands were spade-like, and his feet were large.’
      heavy, broad, large, rough, rough-hewn, unrefined, inelegant
      View synonyms
    4. 1.4 (of food or drink) of inferior quality.
      ‘the wine is harsh, tannic, and coarse’
      • ‘The stuff available is of poor quality - yellow rice that smells rancid; coarse sugar full of dirt, etc.’
      • ‘After days without respite from the coarse gruel and dairy produce that was the usual fare of a herdsman, I was more than ready for some good meat.’
      • ‘A Chinese hostess will usually say to her guests she has nothing to offer them but some coarse food and plain tea.’
      • ‘It was Julian, the urchin who had once served the coarse wine in The Oranges bar.’
      • ‘The food was meager, coarse bread and a single cup of water along with a small bowl of some kind of stew, long gone cold.’
      • ‘The Romans considered the leek a superior vegetable, unlike onions and garlic which were despised as coarse foods for the poor.’
      • ‘Elderly people often describe the hard days of the past with examples of how they struggled with inadequate and coarse food.’
      • ‘This is just as well; the coarse meat of a big, ‘wormy’ drum makes poor table fare.’
  • 2(of a person or their speech) rude or vulgar.

    ‘a man of coarse speech’
    ‘indecent language and coarse jests’
    • ‘Or, you could argue that our language has become downright coarse, offensive and rude.’
    • ‘You are never coarse or vulgar, and people who display such traits offend you.’
    • ‘If the government were made up entirely of that coarse element - the violators, self-seekers, and flatterers - who form its core, it could not continue to exist.’
    • ‘She had become like all the other strong, hard, coarse women of poor households.’
    • ‘A crude culture makes a coarse people, and private refinement cannot long survive public excess.’
    • ‘This created peer pressure and the cultivation of rough manners, coarse language and status symbols like the body tattoos.’
    • ‘You will see women lose their uniqueness - they will become as coarse, as brutish as men.’
    • ‘A maid hurries towards the coarse fellow with the bowl of charcoal used as a pipe-lighter.’
    • ‘He could hear the low hum of voices and the occasional coarse laugh.’
    • ‘He was far too coarse and obvious to make that necessary, wasn't he?’
    • ‘If there was one place that Angel detested it was the village, full of smelly houses and coarse women.’
    • ‘I heard some laughing, like a thick coarse chuckle.’
    • ‘The people whom he met, besides his own kin, were coarse in speech and thought.’
    • ‘To such as these the everyday language of the factory workers will sound shocking, and their general behaviour appear coarse and vulgar, but it is not so in reality.’
    • ‘Though she is coarse and stupid, she imagines she is cut out for a job in the movies.’
    • ‘The ogres, unable to see her, began to look around, still roaring and shouting in their coarse speech.’
    • ‘The poet who was so courtly and gentle in his verse could be coarse and vulgar in his everyday speech.’
    • ‘These treasure hunters were coarse and greedy types whose only intention was plunder.’
    • ‘The missives were framed in particularly coarse language to make the point.’
    • ‘There are no smiles of a summer night here as Mozart's warm human comedy degenerates into an ugly, coarse sex farce.’
    • ‘He sees a woman much like himself, a coarse merchant's daughter who guffaws loudly at a dirty joke.’
    oafish, loutish, boorish, churlish, uncouth, rude, discourteous, impolite, ungentlemanly, unladylike, ill-mannered, uncivil, ill-bred, vulgar, common, rough, uncultured, uncivilized, crass, foul-mouthed
    vulgar, crude, rude, off colour, offensive, dirty, filthy, smutty, obscene, indelicate, improper, indecent, indecorous, unseemly, crass, tasteless, lewd, prurient
    View synonyms
  • 3British Relating to the sport of angling for coarse fish.

    ‘coarse anglers’
    • ‘The Internet has made a huge difference to acquiring information on many subjects, including angling, and the coarse anglers over here have their own club and national sites on the Net.’
    • ‘Before putting away my coarse fishing gear until June 16th I made sure it had all been cleaned.’
    • ‘The fixed spool reel is the most versatile reel in coarse fishing and as such is the most popular reel.’
    • ‘The native fish will then be reintroduced in time for the coarse fishing season which starts in the summer.’
    • ‘Once the river levels were back to a fishable condition, coarse and game anglers experienced some good fishing.’
    • ‘The main reservoir will be used for coarse fishing and there will be an additional trout lake and a junior pond.’
    • ‘Indeed, sections of the Grand Canal have some of the best coarse angling in the country.’
    • ‘In fact, many hire companies provide the tackle for coarse fishing, so it's very easy to try your hand at catching bream, perch, roach or rudd.’
    • ‘Anglers can also enjoy the open spaces and easy access to excellent coarse fishing.’
    • ‘The owner keeps an eye on coarse anglers to make sure all the trout are returned.’
    • ‘Many more anglers are now going out fly fishing for the coarse and sea fish species.’
    • ‘The majority of English coarse fishermen naturally tend to think of French fishing in terms of carp alone but this couldn't be further from the truth.’
    • ‘Angling, both fly-fishing and coarse fishing, is governed by intricate rules, which justify the catch as the end-point of a contest.’
    • ‘Don't lift the rod tip high as in trout or coarse fishing.’
    • ‘I should stress at this point that my own interest is in coarse fishing on lakes and rivers and all that I write here is done so with this in mind.’
    • ‘Let me tell you about one of the greatest day's coarse fishing I've had for many, many years.’
    • ‘You can also increase your catch numbers by copying our coarse fishing colleagues and employing swim feeders.’
    • ‘One of the fundamental reasons for this is that there have always been three distinct types of fishing - game, coarse and sea angling.’
    • ‘Even if you are a coarse angler these fish are a sight not to be missed.’
    • ‘Working-class coarse angling was also becoming more accessible thanks to the railways.’


Late Middle English (in the sense ‘ordinary or inferior’): origin uncertain; until the 17th century identical in spelling with course, and possibly derived from the latter in the sense ‘ordinary manner’.